Alan Dyer has been using DSLRs since 2004 and shoots the sky exclusively with these amazing cameras. He is co-author, with Terence Dickinson, of The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide, and most recently the eBook, How to Photograph and Process Nightscapes and Time-Lapses, available at the Apple iBook Store.
Dyer is a contributing editor to SkyNews and to Sky and Telescope magazines. His images have appeared in many books and calendars, including in the RASC Observer’s Calendar and Observer’s Handbook, and on websites such as SpaceWeather.com, Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD), and in publications such as National Geographic magazine. Asteroid #78434 is named for him.
His main website is www.amazingsky.com.
Mastering Photoshop for Astronomy
Most astrophotographers employ Adobe Photoshop at some point in their workflow when processing astro images. But how well?
In this 3.5-hour workshop Alan will demonstrate many tips and techniques for using Photoshop to process everything from simple nightscapes, to time-lapse night sky movies, and to stacked deep-sky images, with the focus on working with raw images from DSLR and Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens cameras.
The emphasis will be on making those raw files look great by employing a “non-destructive” workflow using smart filters, adjustment layers, and masks, highlighting techniques often overlooked by astrophotographers who learned Photoshop many years ago and have never unlearned their bad habits!
Alan will show you how to transform images from raw to rave, employing only Photoshop. He’ll show you how to end up with images good enough for the RASC Observer’s Calendar or Handbook cover!
Who Is This For?
- Serious beginners starting out in astrophotography wanting to know the essential techniques for using Photoshop to make their DSLR images look great.
- Experienced astrophotographers wanting to learn more advanced Photoshop tips and techniques, to make the most of Photoshop’s powerful features.
- Both nightscape and deep-sky photographers – we will cover processing techniques for both fields, working with DSLR images.
- The Workshop begins with tips on ensuring the best quality original images, such as ETTR: Expose to the Right, using the histogram to judge exposure, and using Long Exposure Noise Reduction.
- While we’ll briefly describe Adobe Lightroom Classic and non-Adobe alternatives such as Raw Therapee and Affinity Photo, the workshop focuses on using Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Camera Raw.
- Using live demos of Photoshop CC, Alan will demonstrate how to…
- Use Adobe Bridge to import, rate, and select images, and “Place” them into Photoshop to retain non-destructive options
- Use Adobe Camera Raw to develop raw images (a step often ignored in processing astro images from DSLRs), including correcting lens defects and reducing noise
- Use Photoshop’s little-known functions for stacking, aligning and merging deep-sky images for reducing noise.
- Use Photoshop to work with “smart objects” for non-destructive filtering
- Use Photoshop to re-touch defects using content-aware tools on a separate image layer
- Apply adjustment layers for non-destructive alterations of contrast and colour balance, including using little-known functions such as the Targeted Adjustment Tool.
- Apply dark frames and flat fields in Photoshop using Blend modes.
- Apply masks for selective adjustments of regions of an image
- Use tools such as Quick Selection, Refine Edge, and Highlight Selection (it isn’t in a menu!) for easy creation of precise masks, including luminosity masks and gradient masks.
- Use Photoshop to assemble panoramas, mosaics, and star-trail stacks.
- Use Photoshop’s little-known “stamp layers” command and High Pass filter to apply non-destructive sharpening
- Use Photoshop’s video functions (it has them!) to assemble time-lapse movies of the moving sky.
What We Will Not Cover
- We will not cover techniques for processing solar, lunar or planetary images and movies taken with specialized “planetcams.” The emphasis is on nightscapes and deep-sky images.
- We will not cover how to use Photoshop to assemble images from monochrome CCD cameras, nor the use of specialized software such as PixInsight or AstroPixelProcessor. The emphasis is on processing raw images from DSLR and Mirrorless cameras.
- However, many of the processing steps we’ll outline are applicable to the later stages of processing images taken with advanced CCD cameras and calibrated using specialized astronomy software.
What Do I Need to Bring?
All you need to bring is something to make notes with. However, outlets to power laptops will be limited.
We will supply all participants with a link to download a take-home handout, in PDF format, of hundreds of pages depicting screen shots of all the steps and menus illustrated live in the workshop.
Photo Blog: amazingsky.net
Photo Galleries: amazingsky.photoshelter.com
Vimeo Channel: www.vimeo.com/channels/amazingsky